Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Soup's On!

When all the relentless cold of winter seems to stretch before you and the "Febtober" grays have you feeling down, savoring a warm and hearty bowl of soup is just what the Country Living doctor ordered.

In fact, Carla Emery says about milk the same thing Julia Child said of butter: "There can't be too much!" Keep in mind, however, milk or cream soups shouldn't be boiled. Boiling hurts the flavor and makes a mean scum to clean out of the kettle. Always add the hot milk to the other ingredients at the last minute.

Soups made with milk are so easy to make, good-tasting, and good for you. We just finished a lunch of tomato soup. I made it by thickening some of my V-7 juice with flour. Then I added salt, a little pour of molasses, and gradually stirred in milk. I was going to add some soda but couldn't find any. It came out good, anyway. Don't be afraid to experiment. One of my college professors used to say that every adult should be able to extemporize a soup. So get to it!

Here's a great milk soup recipe that also strikes me as a brilliant way to use up leftover greens before they spoil.

Cream of Spinach Soup

Puree 3⁄4 c. cooked greens in a blender

(or chop finely or rub through a sieve).

Combine 2 c. milk, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs parsley, and 1 t. minced onion.

Heat to boiling.

Melt 3 T. butter.

Blend in 3 T. flour, a pinch of paprika, 1 t. salt, and the milk mixture.

Simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the spinach to the mixture and 1⁄4 c. cream.

Reheat and serve.

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